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Wednesday 15 August 2018

Screen legend Tony Curtis dies

Tony Curtis, whose career spanned more than 60 years, has died at the age of 85.

The dashing Hollywood star - who will forever be remembered for his role in drag in the 1959 Billy Wilder comedy Some Like It Hot - suffered a heart attack. Sir Roger Moore led tributes to him, telling Sky News: "He was a fine actor."

Sir Roger, who starred alongside Curtis in TV hit The Persuaders, added: "I shall miss him."

The former James Bond star played aristocrat Brett Sinclair in the series while Curtis was playboy Danny Wilde.

Sir Roger said: "We had a lot of laughs together for about 15 months, working together every day. He was great fun to work with, a great sense of humour and wonderful ad libs."

Sir Michael Parkinson, who interviewed Curtis several times, said his performance in Some Like It Hot would live forever. He said: "He was a very, very fine actor.

"He was an extraordinary man. Hollywood tried to make him into a sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s but he was his own man.

"He was a great chatshow guest and was wonderfully indiscreet but he was very bright and did not take himself too seriously."

The actor's business manager Preston Ahearn told US TV network ABC News that Curtis passed away last night peacefully in bed next to his wife Jill in their home in Nevada.

Curtis, who had heart surgery in 1994, began his acting career as a 1950s heartthrob but became a respected actor in films such as The Defiant Ones. His portrayal of a racist escaped convict handcuffed to a black escapee, Sidney Poitier, in the film brought him an Oscar nomination in 1958.

© Press Association

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